Up to 1,000 social services and care staff at Kent Council are
to be balloted on strike action in protest against a 1.25 per cent
Unison plans to ballot members next month on a series of one-day
strikes in June. Kent's offer is less than half that offered by
local authority employers nationally.
A national pay award of 3 per cent for local government staff
came into effect this month, but Kent has opted out of the
David Buss, Unison branch secretary for Kent, described the 1.25
per cent pay offer as the "final straw" for social services staff.
"Social work staff have been complaining about caseload levels, and
have been asked to cover stress-related vacancies of staff and
posts which have not been filled," he said.
Keith Ferrin, chairperson of Kent Council's social services
committee, said it decided to make a reduced pay offer rather than
cut services due to budget pressures.
He added that council staff were still "well ahead" overall when
Kent's annual pay rises are compared with the national pay
agreements made by local government employers, over the past nine